North Macedonia: Police find 24 migrants, arrest 2 locals

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia say they discovered 24 migrants hiding in a van on a major highway in the country’s south Sunday and arrested two men as suspected people smugglers.

The two Macedonian nationals, 50 and 47 years old, were identified only by their initials, B.A. and A.D., in accordance with customary practice, police said in a statement.

Police think the people inside the van entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece, with plans to continue on to Serbia and then wealthier European countries.

They were transferred to a migrant reception center in the border town of Gevgelija, pending deportation to Greece.

Police say they intercepted a number of people in recent weeks as the so-called Balkan route, which runs through North Macedonia, has become more active following the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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